Kevin Durant admits feud with Draymond Green was factor in him leaving Warriors
The relationship between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green never seemed the same following their altercation early last season, and many believe that was a factor in Durant’s decision to leave the Golden State Warriors and sign with the Brooklyn Nets. Now, we can say with certainty that it played a role.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday, Durant admitted the incident with Green helped push him out the door.
"Definitely. For sure. I'm not gonna lie about it."
–Kevin Durant on if his heated exchange with Draymond Green was a factor in his decision to leave the Warriors
(via @firsttake) pic.twitter.com/luuS6Fd22C
— ESPN (@espn) October 31, 2019
“A little bit, yeah, for sure,” Durant said. “If your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. We talked about it but definitely, for sure, I’m not gonna lie about it.”
Durant also said he felt the incident could have been avoided, and he believes it is one of the main reasons he was constantly asked about his impending free agency.
Kevin Durant on his relationship with Draymond Green and the incident between the two last season against the Clippers: pic.twitter.com/8xeQ4mFsfD
— First Take (@FirstTake) October 31, 2019
“I wish that wouldn’t have happened. It was a situation that definitely could have been avoided. It really came out of nowhere,” he said. “Everybody was just looking for something to tear us down, and that just brought in the firestorm with every day being about my free agency … it opened up a lot of nonsense that could have been avoided.”
The original reason for the argument probably was not that big of a deal. Durant called out Green for not passing the ball near the end of an eventual overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November, and the dispute spilled over into the locker room. What really created issues was when Green told Durant the Warriors don’t need him and reminded him that they won before he arrived in Golden State. That is almost certainly what Durant was referring to on “First Take.”
Ironically, the Green who told Durant the Warriors don’t need him is the same Green who supposedly called K.D. to deliver the opposite message after Golden State lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals back in 2016.
It’s possible Durant was going to leave the Warriors in free agency regardless, but his strained relationship with Green may have made the decision easier.